Dressing the Abbey

History Museum of Mobile is excited to announce its next major exhibition, Dressing the Abbey, opening January 28, 2023. Dressing the Abbey weaves fashion, history, and popular culture into an exhibition featuring the wardrobe from Downton Abbey, one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world. 

The exhibition features thirty-five costumes worn by men and women and invites viewers to discover the turbulence of the Edwardian era and the cultural impact of the First World War. From rich country tweeds, to sumptuous evening gowns, to a starched footman's livery, the textiles in this exhibition speak to a transformational moment in art, fashion, design, and history.

From the History Museum of Mobile’s own collection of over 117,000 objects, the Museum is curating a complementary exhibition, Dressing Mobile: 1920s Fashion in the Port City. It will run simultaneously and will feature the transformation of Mobile society and culture from 1890 to 1930. The Museum will also open Setting the Table, a hands-on exhibition featuring formal table settings, menus, tea customs, and more. A series of programs will enrich the visitor experience and enhance the educational value of the exhibition. From engaging local artists and designers in lectures, to exploring the performative rituals around drinking tea, to designing creative tablescapes for one’s own home, to teaching ballroom dancing, the planned programming is designed to allow for meaningful connections to both the exhibition themes and to the local community.



J. L. Bedsole Foundation
Mobile County, Districts 1 & 2
Friends of the Museum
Alabama State Council on the Arts

The exhibition is developed and distributed by Exhibits Development Group in. cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England. The exhibition is not endorsed by, sponsored by, licensed by, associated with, or otherwise affiliated with the television series Downton Abbey™, NBC Universal International, Carnival Film and Television Limited or their representatives.